The tamarind tree is considered a keystone resource for ring-tailed lemurs and can provide up to 50% of the lemur’s diet.
One of the most important food sources for ring-tailed lemurs is the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica,) which can provide up to 50% of the total food consumed during some times of the year and are considered a keystone resource for the lemurs.
The tamarind tree is found in every habitat where the lemurs are known to live, but is abundant in gallery and more open forests away from rivers. It can reach 20-25 meters tall and produces fruits and leaves at alternating times of the year, providing a reliable, year-round food source for the lemurs.
During the dry season, the tamarind tree is one of the only sources of fruit for the ring-tailed lemur.
Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Budnitz & Dainis, 1975; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Jolly, 2003; Jolly, et al., 2002; Mertl-Millhollen, et al., 2003; Sauther, 1998, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel